League of Legends Pro League (LPL) team, JD Gaming, parted ways with Lee “LokeN” Dong-wook and Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun, who left the organization on Saturday, October 2. The Chinese esports team decided to part ways with two of their veterans after missing the 2021 LoL World Championship.
From Worlds Quarter-Finals To Missing Playoffs
The LPL Spring 2020 champions, and 2020 LoL World Championship quarter-finalists, JD Gaming, announced roster changes ahead of the 2022 season. The decision follows a disappointing ending to the 2021 season.
JD Gaming entered the 2021 season as one of China’s main representatives at the 2020 LoL World Championship. Even though JDG didn’t win the trophy, they have done well to represent their region and made it to the final eight.
JDG’s only three defeats at the 2020 LoL Worlds came against PSG Talon and the two finalists in DWG KIA and Suning, who eliminated them from the quarter-finals. After an impressive showing on the big stage, the expectations put on JDG were high heading into the 2021 season.
Unfortunately, the team failed to live up to the hype.
In the first split of the season, JDG managed a fairly decent fourth-place finish in the regular season but fell flat in the playoffs, finishing the spring split in fifth-sixth place. However, the biggest disappointment came during the LPL 2021 Summer, when JDG did not even make it into the postseason.
The once-great squad ended the LPL 2021 Summer split in 12th place with a 7-9 record. It marked the organizations’ worst performance in the domestic league since its inception in 2017.
The less-than-convincing performances ushered in drastic changes ahead of the 2022 season. In a bid to find more stability, JDG announced that they’re parting ways with their ADC LokeN and support player, Mystic.
Changes Were Needed
It’s up to debate what caused JD Gaming to flop in 2021, albeit the organization seem to believe that their bottom laners are at fault. Still, it was obvious that JDG struggled as a unit, which was shocking to see.
The team features some of the biggest stars in the scene, including veteran top laner Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran, mid laner Zeng “Yagao” Qi, and the 20-year-old jungle superstar Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok. With so much talent, it’s easy to see why the expectations were high and why the fans felt disgusted with what JDG have produced this term.
It’s also very easy to see why JDG decided to part ways with their bottom laner LokeN. As a star player of the team in 2020, his performances this year were far from acceptable.
LokeN averaged the lowest team’s average damage share this year and some of the worst stats in his role. The 23-year-old ended the LPL 2021 Summer with 4.06 KDA (10th), 9.28 CSPM (9th), 64.4% KPAR (10th), and 25.3% KS (12th).
Mystic, meanwhile, spent most of the season as substitute support. While he has had his chances to prove himself, Mystic failed to do so.
Plans For 2022
JD Gaming have yet to reveal their plans for the 2022 season. However, we know that the team will continue without LokeN and Mystic, meaning that JDG is on the lookout for a new ADC player.
Fortunately, JDG don’t need to find a new support player since they still field Zuo “LvMao” Ming-Hao. LvMao has been with the organization since 2017 and is contracted with JDG until November 2022.
It remains to be seen who will pair with LvMao in JDG’s bottom lane next year; however, the organization has plenty of options.
Some of the most notable ADC players whose contract will run out this offseason include Invictus Gaming’s Ding “Puff” Wang and Zhang “Wink” Rui, EDward Gaming’s Park “Viper” Do-hyeon and Rogue Warriors’ Lu “Betty” Yu-Hung.
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